This Austrian seal of quality for sustainably produced wines was developed over several years of scientific work by the Austrian Wine Association together with experts. It is a well-thought-out certification system to measure the sustainable functioning of domestic winegrowers. Certified winemakers went through a two-stage process, in which they were also checked by an external audit. Certifications have been possible since 2015. These are classified according to economic, ecological and social criteria and strictly checked. From the grape harvest to the expansion of the wines to bottling the entire manufacturing process is based on its contribution to sustainability rayed. Economical use of water, energy, chemical fertilizers and efficient use of machines are just as positively evaluated as, for example, fair working conditions or sustainable economic activity. Only when all requirements are met can a winegrower award his wine with the seal of approval.
The certification system represents the three pillars of sustainability (ecology, economy and social) and evaluates over 340 activities in the winegrowing business. The rating system is provided to the winemakers by the Austrian Winegrowers' Association as an online tool. There you can anonymously enter the operational activities, the computer-automated effects on the ground biodiversity, the water, the material consumption, the climate that show energy and quality as well as in the social and economic area. Each activity shows whether it is more or less sustainable compared to alternative measures. If the total of all ratings exceeds a certain level, the company is rated sustainably and can be certified. The evaluation is shown in a spider diagram according to the traffic light system.
For the "Sustainable Austria" certification, a large number of defined goals must be achieved. The goals are divided into the processes of grape production, wine production, new vineyard planting, social affairs and economy. The companies can apply via the certification system - online tool on the Sustainig Austria website or initiate the certification process. Sustainably certified companies are not automatic organic farms with produced according to EU guidelines organic wines, there are, however, many organic farms that are also sustainably certified. The criteria conform to those of the Biological crop protection or the Organic viticulture, Similar certifications are carried out in Germany DINE and Fair'n Green,